Cancer is one of those diseases that frightens everyone. And mainstream medicine certainly uses that to its advantage.
Mainstream doctors and drug companies scare people into thinking they need to be treated immediately. The result is that people make rushed decisions based solely on the advice of the people in the room with them. They don’t feel like they have the time to really consider the options, do their own research, and draw their own conclusions.
That’s why I’m devoting the next two editions of the Reality Health Check to providing you with a “second opinion” on some cancer information getting a lot of press lately in the mainstream media. I’m providing my input to help you get all the information — before you make any radical decisions you can’t turn back from.
First, I want to talk about some news that’s making waves in men’s health communities. The splashy headlines claim that metastatic prostate cancer is now considered “curable.”
Trust me, there’s nothing I’d like more than to be able to tell you that this is true. But the fact is, we are a long way off from being able to celebrate this as a victory for men with prostate cancer.
The actual science is nowhere near as definitive as the headlines would have you believe. In fact, the study this lofty claim is based on was tiny. It was performed on 20 handpicked men with early-stage metastatic prostate cancer.
These men were subjected to aggressive treatment that included hormone therapy, surgery, and radiation. After all that, the authors concluded that this intensive treatment protocol “can eliminate detectable disease.”
Sounds great, right? But take a close look at the “fine print.”
The fact is, only 20 percent of the participants reached the primary endpoint — undetectable prostate-specific antigen (PSA) and non-castrate levels of testosterone at 20 months. That’s what the authors used to determine that people had “no evidence of disease” (NED).
Let me do the math for you. That is four people. Out of 20. Less impressive than it sounded at first, isn’t it?
Dig a little deeper and you learn that in many patients, testosterone and PSA levels began to rise once the effects of treatment began to wear off. Only one — that’s right one — patient was “cured” by the traditional definition of 5 years without disease.
And here’s the real kicker: Two patients died from the therapy.
It’s not surprising that this research was conducted at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City — my least favorite cancer treatment hospital. They seem to care more about their statistics than they do about patients.
And that’s not an uninformed opinion. I’ve had not only loved ones who underwent treatment there, but also patients. And I’ve seen it time and again. The hospital wants to be able to tout great cure rates, so they produce research like this. A poorly designed study with an endpoint that is completely undefinable. It didn’t even have any follow-up, which we all know is essential to determining whether a treatment has lasting effects. I honestly don’t think this study would have even been published if it hadn’t come out of Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Clearly, the claim of “cure” here is an overpromise. If any nutritional supplement company made a claim like that, the feds would crash down on them faster than you could pop your first pill. One simply does not bandy about the word cure.
Is this research a tentative first step? Maybe. But a cure? Not a chance. This represents an endpoint, not a cure. What happens after this treatment? No one knows, since there was no follow-up.
Oncology is probably the only area of medicine that considers you cured if you show no evidence of disease 5 years after treatment. If you relapse at 5 years and one day, no worries. You were cured in their magical book of stats and potions of toxic chemicals, and that’s what gets reported.
True cures take decades to prove themselves in any patient with cancer.
Plus, let’s not forget that these aggressive treatments all have major side effects, and the authors of the study never once address the effects of treatment on quality of life — either physical or psychosocial function. Nor do they talk about the cost of these treatments and whether the multimodal approach would be covered by insurance.
It is misleading and unfair to raise men’s hopes that there’s a cure that’s ready and set to go.
So why would anyone want to take advantage of people in this way? Clearly the treatment they’re peddling isn’t cheap. So someone is making money — or hopes to make money — from it. Which explains why they would publish something so ridiculous.
If this isn’t fake news, I don’t know what is …